Czech Republic: The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed an Ecu200m loan towards upgrading the Czech section of the Warszawa - Wien corridor between Ostrava and Breclav.

France: District de l’Agglomération de Montpellier has received a Fr375m loan from the EIB to fund construction of its planned 15 km light rail line; a further Fr430m will be raised to complete the project.

Hungary: MAV has received government approval to seek loans of Ecu100m from the EIB for infrastructure improvement, and Ecu40m from the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development for rolling stock modernisation.

Japan: The transport ministry is seeking a reduction in interest charges from the finance ministry on the former JNR debt, to facilitate its eventual settlement.

Romania: The World Bank is to loan US$120m and the EBRD another US$97m to Sncfr for upgrading projects including modernisation of 900 km of track.

Spain: Siemens has proposed a public-private finance plan for the Madrid - Barcelona high speed line. The state would fund infrastructure - 60% of the total cost - with electrification, signalling and ICE3 trains funded by a consortium led by Siemens.

USA: On July 10 South Dakota was awarded a $6·4m grant to repair flood-damaged railway infrastructure, including $3·9m for the state-owned Aberdeen - Mitchell line.

The Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority is to draw the first US$140m of a US$400m federal loan (p610) by the end of this month. On July 14 design contracts worth almost US8m were approved.